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Faculty & Staff

Katrin Hinrichs DVM, PhD

Katrin Hinrichs DVM, PhD

Professor and Patsy Link Chair in Mare Reproductive Studies

Dr. Katrin Hinrichs graduated from the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine with her DVM in 1978. After private practice, she spent six years at the University of Pennsylvania, New Bolton Center completing a residency and PhD. She began her research on hormonal requirements for pregnancy and embryo transfer in the mare. She spent the next 10 years at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine teaching and conducting research on oocyte maturation and fertilization in the horse. Hinrichs joined the faculty at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences in 1998 and she is jointly appointed in Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology and Large Animal Clinical Sciences.

She is best known to the horse-owning world for her unique contributions to cloning. She and her group cloned the first horse in North America, and the third in the world. Their continued efforts have resulted in one of the highest reported success rates with regard to producing live offspring following nuclear transfer in any species. Equal to this and perhaps of great importance to the horse industry, are her many unique and applicable developments in what is referred to as "assisted reproduction." These have included: developing techniques to improve in vitro fertilization; helping to define and understand equine embryo development; development of improved techniques to preserve (maintain viability) of oocytes from injured or dying horses, so they may be transported to a specialty referral center for fertilization; heightened understanding of the variables affecting oocyte maturation; development of a technique to biopsy horse embryos to determine the presence or absence of genetically related diseases while preserving the viability of the developing embryo; and techniques for improving success of embryo cryopreservation in horses. Her contributions have been widely employed throughout the world to aid in retention of valuable breeding horses.




Beatriz Macías García

Beatriz Macías García DVM, PhD

Research Scientist

Dr. Beatriz Macías García received her DVM from the University of Extremadura in Cáceres, Spain, in 2006. After working as a veterinary intern at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, she returned to the Department of Reproduction of the University of Extremadura to work on her PhD, under a grant from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. Dr. Macias defended her PhD in 2011; her work focused on the effect of osmotic shock on stallion spermatozoa. Now, as a member of the Equine Embryo Laboratory team, Dr. Macías is studying physiological aspects of capacitation and hyperactivation in stallion sperm. In addition to her stallion research, Dr. Macías works on research in assisted reproductive techniques performed at the lab, such as transvaginal follicle aspirations, flank aspirations of preovulatory follicles and oocyte maturation. Dr. Macías future plans are to continue her research into other areas of assisted reproduction, including IVF (in vitro fertilization) and oocyte vitrification, in the horse.




Lauro Gonzalez

Lauro Gonzalez, PhD

Research Scientist

Dr. Lauro Gonzalez received his degree in Biochemistry from the University of Extremadura in Caceres, Spain, in 2003. After a predoctoral fellowship in the Alberto Sols Institute for Biomedical Investigation in Madrid, he returned to the Physiology Department at Extremadura and completed his PhD in 2009.  Dr. Gonzalez's doctoral research was focused on the role of protein tyrosine phosphatases in motility and capacitation in porcine and equine sperm.  At the Equine Embryo Laboratory, Dr. Gonzalez continues his research on equine sperm, as a postdoctoral fellow funded by a grant for Postdoctoral Specialization from the Junta of Extremadura. He is studying the pathways involved in equine hyperactivated sperm motility, specifically working on the role of protein kinase A and calmodulin kinase II (CaMKII).  Additionally, Dr. Gonzalez is studying the physiological role of calcium and pH in the capacitation process in stallion spermatozoa.




Young Ho Choi DVM, PhD

Young Ho Choi DVM, PhD

Research Scientist

Dr. Young Ho Choi received his DVM from Seoul National University in South Korea in 1989 and he received his PhD from Gifu University in Japan in 1997. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the Obihiro University Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine in Japan and at Colorado State University in Colorado. Since 2000, he has been working at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and he currently holds the title of research scientist.

Since 1990 Choi has had experience with in vitro fertilization in several species, such as: mice, pigs, cows and horses. His main research areas are assisted reproductive techniques, more specifically; intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and cloning in the horse. He has published 32 papers with Hinrichs in the past decade, with the majority of them covering ICSI and cloning in the horse.




Isabel Catalina Velez DVM, MS

Isabel Catalina Velez DVM, MS

Research Assistant

Dr. Isabel Catalina Velez received her DVM from the Veterinary Medicine CES University in Medellin, Columbia in 2005. She received her MS in physiology of reproduction at Texas A&M University in 2009, focusing on the regulation of seasonality in the mare.

In the Equine Embryo Laboratory Velez is involved in developing and improving mare reproductive techniques, such as; transvaginal follicle aspiration (TVA), flank aspiration of stimulated preovulatory follicles, oocyte maturation and manipulation, oocyte transfer, and embryo transfer and embryo and oocyte vitrification. As she continues her research in the coming years, her goal is to acquire the knowledge to become Board-Certified in the American College of Theriogenologists.




Linda Love BS, MS

Linda Love BS, MS

Research Assistant

Linda Love received her BS in 1980 and her MS in 1984 from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Love studied equine reproduction with an emphasis on equine embryo transfer. She was one of the first to develop the procedure with a horse at the University of Missouri, which was just beginning to emerge as an everyday assisted reproductive tool that decade. After working with embryo transfer in equine and bovine at the University of Pennsylvania - New Bolton Center and with human infertility in Newark, Delaware she came to the Texas A&M Equine Embryo Laboratory in 1999. Since the beginning of the lab she has been working on oocyte recovery techniques, ovary and oocyte temperature regulation, shipping temperatures, regulations, packaging vessels, medias, and developing research equipment and techniques with students, visiting professionals, residents, and graduate students.




Shavahn Loux BS, MS

Shavahn Loux BS, MS

Shavahn Loux received her undergraduate degree and her MS in animal science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She is currently working towards her PhD in biomedical sciences from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, focusing on factors affecting hyperactivated motility in equine spermatozoa, specifically calcium kinetics during hyperactivation, and its relationship to the ability of the sperm to fertilize oocytes in vitro.




Sheila Spacek

Sheila Spacek

Technician

Ms. Sheila Spacek is a 2009 graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology.  During her time at Texas A&M, Ms. Spacek completed an internship at Granada Farms under the guidance of Dr. Mark Nevill, which inspired her career path in equine reproduction.  As the technician at the Equine Embryo Laboratory, she is involved with research as well as clinical transvaginal follicle aspiration procedures, oocyte recovery from isolated ovaries, oocyte maturation, and tissue cell culture.  Ms. Spacek also serves the laboratory as the liaison and coordinator for clinical ICSI, post-mortem ICSI, embryo vitrification, and genetic biopsy clinical programs. In the future, she wishes to pursue her DVM and become Board-Certified in the American College of Theriogenologists.